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2009 Salivary Glands and Exocrine Secretion Gordon Research Conference

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This proposal seeks partial support for the seventh Gordon Research Conference on Salivary Glands and Exocrine Secretion to be held February 8-13th, 2009 at the Hotel Galvez, Galveston, Texas. This meeting is highly significant as it is the preeminent multi-disciplinary conference in the exocrine biology field, and as such brings together established salivary and exocrine gland investigators, both basic and translational with promising more junior scientists and experts from associated fields. The overall goal of this conference is to provide a forum for presentation and discussion of cutting edge research directed toward understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of the salivary gland and related exocrine glands. A secondary goal is to facilitate and strengthen collaborations between investigators in these related fields. To this end the conference will highlight the topical issues shared with researchers working in salivary and other exocrine glands including pancreas, lacrimal, lung and mammary gland. The program will be comprised of nine plenary sessions, and include two keynote addresses featuring established investigators of international stature, and two poster sessions. Topics to be covered include the molecular mechanisms involved in exocrine gland development and regeneration, stem cells, signal transduction and gene regulation, and protein and fluid secretion. The role dysregulation of these processes play in tissue damage, and the initiation and progression of "exocrineopathies" such as Sjogrens syndrome, dry eye and pancreatitis will also be a particular feature. A broad range of national and international speakers have been identified with the inclusion of promising young investigators as well as more established investigators. The organizing team recognizes the need to encourage the growth and advancement of salivary and exocrine gland biology and to this end we will endeavor to particularly encourage the participation of young investigators and investigators new to this field of research.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This conference is highly health related in that it will promote discussion and prioritization of the important future research directions pertinent to understanding the pathophysiology of exocrine glands and their secretions. A particular feature of this meeting will be a focus on the initiation and progression of human disease that arises from exocrine gland dysfunction, such as Sjogrens syndrome, dry eye and pancreatitis. Tissue damage to the salivary gland resulting from irradiation, and strategies to prevent damage and/or regenerate the gland will also be a focus of the scientific presentations.

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